Apartheid-Free Communities: The Stephen McNeil Fellowship

AFSC is incredibly grateful for the generosity of an anonymous donor who has helped create the Stephen McNeil Fellowship. This new fellowship, over the course of two years, will help us organize and lead a new coalition of "Apartheid-Free Communities," committed to exposing and opposing racism and apartheid everywhere, and taking a pledge to be "Apartheid-Free," to withdraw all supports from the military occupation of Palestinian lands and from Israeli Apartheid.

The Stephen McNeil Fellow will join our team in the Bay Area and help organize and convene the new Apartheid-Free Coalition. They will accompany and support new anti-apartheid campaigns in churches and on campuses, create and publish resources for these campaigns, organize educational sessions for coalition partners and the general public, and help organize an anti-apartheid delegation and a national conference. This Fellowship is designed for an experienced organizer, with a preference to a young Palestinian rights activist and/or an organizer with a Palestine network in a faith organization. Help us hire this new organizer!

As many supporters of the American Friends Service Committee know, Stephen McNeil was an integral part of the organization. For over 30 years he served as an administrator, volunteer and program director. His passion for justice work seemed limitless and his dedication and expertise helped further efforts around LGBTQ rights, Middle East peace, demilitarization, and policing issues. His long-time service in AFSC's Bay Area programs helped shape an era of Quaker peace and justice work.

Stephen’s first encounter with the AFSC was through a summer workcamp on racism, as a college student in 1970, when he volunteered to try to get the Philadelphia Quaker Meeting to divest from apartheid South Africa. It took many more years until the Religious Society of Friends, and many many others, have finally divested from South African apartheid. It is time to rebuild an anti-apartheid movement urging communities of conscious to divest from apartheid everywhere.

This is work Stephen would have been passionate about—run by colleagues who worked side-by-side with Stephen in the Bay Area—and it is an honor to continue his legacy in the AFSC. We would like to invite you to join us by helping match our donor's initial gift. Your contributions will help make this a sustainable fellowship in the Bay Area and will provide the resources to meaningfully compensate the kind of organizer who can take on this immense task. Would you be willing to make a gift for Palestinian rights, in memory of Stephen’s legacy?